BONUS: Deeper Meaning Podcast about the incredibly introspective sitcom, Mom:
Scroll to the bottom of the post for the map of the beginnings of Darshani’s Hero’s Journey.
This episode contains a scene with descriptions of sexual abuse and course language that may be triggering or disturbing to some. Viewer discretion is advised.
This Video Script is based around an episode of The Kominsky Method
Chapter 11: An Odd Couple Occurs
Season 2, Episode 3
I highly recommend that you watch this entire scene before or after reading this script (it’s the first 5-6 minutes of the episode).
I often find that I’m trying to convince people that the Hero’s and Heroine’s Journeys aren’t only for story structure. They apply to real-life and they apply to your life whether you know it or not. Tell me your life story and I’ll find your Journeys.
To prove this to you today, I want to break down an incredible, 5-minute scene from Season 2 of The Kominsky Method and show you the Archetypes and steps of the Hero’s Journey contained within it.
Honestly, I can’t finish watching that scene without some tears showing up. Powerful, powerful story-telling and acting from Michael Douglas and especially from Jenna Adams.
Hello, Fellow Wanderers, this is Darshani and she’s a woman that probably all of us have met at some point or other. It’s highly possible we’ve even been her at some point in our life. Maybe you’re her right now.
You don’t have to have been sexually abused to be Darshani and you don’t have to be a woman to be Darshani. All you have to be is numb. You have to have your emotions shut down and basically feel nothing because you either don’t know what to feel or the pain of your past is too great to bear – you don’t know what to do with your emotions when they do surface.
In Hero’s Journey terms, this is Normal Existence. A life in the Mundane Masculine of just going through the motions, every day the same, doing what you need to do to get through each day and continue your dreary survival.
The point is…Darshani is real. Yes, she’s a fictional character in this TV series, but she’s more real than reality because how many people could be wearing her face at this moment?
So, here Darshani is with the desire to be an actress, but without the ability to properly emote because she’s shut them away. All emotions are Feminine energy and Darshani has effectively cut herself off from the Feminine. She’s wearing the mask of an Archetype I like to call The Pretender.
The Pretender looks like Darshani and it acts the way that everybody expects Darshani to act, but it doesn’t let the real Darshani out to play.
And somehow or other, Sandy Kominsky sees straight through The Pretender.
This turns Sandy into an Archetype I call The Destroyer. By stopping Darshani’s monologue and by making her face her non-emoting of what should be an emotional speech, The Destroyer tears The Pretender mask off of Darshani and smashes it. He takes away all of her excuses.
Now, an Evil Destroyer would do all of that, wash the dust off his hands and smugly demand that you now go and change your disposition and fix society – and there’s a lot of that going on in the world today with all the “Truth Bombers” calling everyone else a bunch of sheeple. Too many people are telling other people that they have to fix the world while providing zero guidance or leadership as to how to create genuine and lasting change.
But Sandy isn’t an Evil Destroyer. He sees past Darshani’s mask and he tells her what her problem is, but then Sandy begins to transform and I’m going to call this transformation The Healer. Now that he’s got her attention, he doesn’t need to tear down anymore. It’s time to start building. It’s time to drain the poison from Darshani’s wounds. Sandy sees all of her potential and he lays down a challenge to her:
[show us who you really are]
This is Darshani’s Call to Adventure moment and what does she do? She runs from it. Refusal of the Call in Hero’s Journey terms.
We’ve all done it. We’ve all turned our backs in those moments that challenge us, that are uncomfortable, that demand that we actually tell someone how we really feel.
So we run and sometimes we keep running, but sometimes…sometimes The Destroyer/Healer does something for the sole purpose of making us mad. Mad enough that we finally answer our Call to Adventure with a firestorm of pent-up rage.
We so like to shame people for being angry and anger isn’t good when it burns forever, but when it’s fresh, when it’s the first thing that someone has genuinely felt for a long time, ohhh, it’s the most delicious and beautiful thing on the planet.
You can see it when Darshani strides back into the theatre room in a fuming rage. Sandy called her a block of ice a few moments before this, but she’s made of flames right here. A burning hot, Feminine phoenix primed to take flight and she just needs one more, tiny nudge to genuinely dive into her Hero’s Journey. One more tiny nudge to Cross the First Threshold into the depths of the Feminine and Emotion.
Once again, Sandy, as The Healer, challenges her:
[don’t tell me, tell them]
Darshani could freeze, she could clam up, shove all the feelings down again. Put her True Self on display in front of everyone? No mask, no barriers, no Ego? Fresh, raw and wounded Darshani for her entire world to see?
And she does it. She dives in. She opens herself up to her pain and anguish and feels everything for the first time since she was a young and hopeful girl.
A young and hopeful girl that was perhaps living in A “Perfect” World. A carefree world of childhood bliss that all came crashing down when her Innocence was forced from her. A Death of Innocence that happened not once or twice, but numerous times and with no Mentors or Heroes or Faery Godmothers in sight. A Heroine’s Journey broken and twisted in the rubble.
So, Darshani shut down her emotions until the fateful day that she joined Sandy Kominsky’s acting school and unwittingly put herself directly in the path of her Destroyer.
The truth of the matter is that Darshani’s soul knew exactly where she needed to be. Acting is obviously her bliss. She wants to be there, but to be truly great she has to use the pain that was forced upon her.
And Sandy knows this as well. He knows it all too well.
He’s reached her. The real Darshani is standing right in front of him. He didn’t want to hear what he heard. He hadn’t intended to open up such a gaping wound. As I said, had Sandy been an Evil Destroyer, he would have just let her twist in the wind, but he chose to prod and poke and find her Pain instead.
So, now Sandy becomes what I’ll call The Restorer as it’s time to restore Darshani to her former glory.
[if you’re brave enough]
What Sandy is telling Darshani here is “go deeper”. Darshani crossed the threshold when she was unconditionally vulnerable in front of the class. Trying to go back to snide, sarcastic, emotionally-unavailable Darshani is impossible – The Pretender is smashed and gone.
Going deeper, wrapping herself in the Womb of the World, in The Belly of the Whale is the death and rebirth that Darshani, the Hero, requires.
So, the real question, after all of this Journey analysis, is: how do we be Sandy Kominsky? How do we become someone’s Destroyer, Healer, Restorer?
How do we become The Mentor?
We begin with our Self first. We push our Self when we need to. We make our Self mad when we need to. We be kind to our Self when we need to. We don’t judge our Self at any point, but we definitely call our Self on our own bullshit.
And as we treat our Self, so we will eventually treat others. As we complete our own Hero’s and Heroine’s Journeys, we’ll become the Mentors that those who follow will require.
Time to Wander Onward, my friend.
PDF version of map here: https://universityforwanderers.com/darshanisJourney.pdf
All of us begin life in The “Perfect” World of the Feminine as Potential Heroine’s (boys and other genders included).
The Death of Innocence or an outside source – such as
a Faery Godmother – is necessary to force us out of
The “Perfect” World. The Death of Innocence is Trauma in any number of possible forms.
In Darshani’s case, that Death of Innocence was rape and ongoing sexual abuse. In situations such as hers
and with the complete absence of Mentors to guide
her through, the Trauma is too great for the mind to bear and forces her to shut down her feelings.
The mind and body goes into “Survival Mode” and forces her (you) into The “Mundane” World, aka the Mundane Masculine, aka Normal Existence.
Still, our Soul cries out for healing. Life needs to be more than “survival”, so it will seek out Guides and Mentors that will force us to face our emotions and
deal with the Trauma.
The constant Call to Adventure is to get back into the Depths of the Soul and to heal the damage that was done.
And, eventually, the Universe will answer. When you’re ready, when it’s time, your Supernatural Aid will arrive.
That Aid will guide – or push you if it has to – over the First Threshold and you’ll find yourself back in the Womb of the World, aka Belly of the Whale once again.
And why do I say “Once again”?
Because the Belly of the Whale is just the other side of the mirror from The “Perfect” World. It’s the bliss and depths of the soul once again, but you’re experiencing it from alternate perspectives.
This is where your Hero’s Journey begins.